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Hospitals minimize electricity use during summer heat
Hinsdale – As the Chicago area sweltered under a withering heat wave, plant operations crews at Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals last week worked to minimize electricity consumption.

The hospitals took steps to reduce their electricity use upon request from their electricity supplier, Noble Americas Energy Solutions, which helps organizations find ways to reduce energy costs.

With temperatures soaring last week, electrical demand rose, especially during the hotter daytime hours.

At Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, crews made use of a natural gas-powered chiller, said James Today administrative director of facilities for both hospitals. The chiller cools water, which circulates through the building and cools the hospital. Using a natural gas chiller decreases the amount of electricity the hospital uses.

At Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, a natural gas co-generation facility was used between the hours of 1 and 6 p.m. throughout the week, said Reynaldo Tuazon, energy and utilities manager for both hospitals.

The system allows Adventist Hinsdale Hospital to generate its own electricity, lessening the hospital’s demand on the electrical grid. The natural gas generators were installed in 1996 and are available to the hospital to use as part of the energy demand response program, Tuazon said.

“Both of these steps are part of our hospitals’ energy reduction plans,” Today said. “We’re happy to do what we can to cooperate with the needs of our utility companies and to ensure the electrical grid remains stable.”

Hospital administration also reminded all staff to cut down on unnecessary energy consumption, for instance turning off lights in rooms when they were not needed, turning off unneeded electrical devices and closing blinds to reduce heat load.

“These efforts are just some of the ways the hospitals try to be good stewards in managing available power sources,” Today said. “Work like this helps to keep energy costs low and power available when people need it most.”

This past spring, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital received recognition for its energy efficiency efforts in the form of a $60,682 check from Nicor Gas. The utility helped the hospital upgrade its third and final boiler with a high-efficiency burner. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital had already installed similar high efficiency burners on two of its boilers without utility financial support.

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Adventist Midwest Health, part of Adventist Health System, includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354.